This is an account of the tragic events that lead to the destruction of Stony Ford and the wholesale slaughter of its people. The Five Companions were (quite shamefully) unable to prevent that tragedy from happening though we were involved in the vengeful justice mete out to the bandits responsible.
The show began with the Five Companions on the trail of Odderick the murderer, escapee from Beorn’s justice. We tracked him down to the small town of Stony Ford and questioned several people in town as to his potential whereabouts. It turns out that Odderick killed Raffick in a rage when Raffick hit his wife, Brundhild. Raffick deserved a good kicking for abusing his wife but not to be killed for it. Or, at least, the case should have been brought before Beorn if Brundhild was seeking recompense from Raffick. Instead, Odderick killed him in cold blood.
Brundhild was kind enough to let the Five Companions know that Odderick had indeed recently returned (in secret) to Stony Ford and he had since fled southwest from Stony Ford towards the forest. We tracked him there and discovered signs of a fight and it appeared that Odderick had been attacked and captured by someone in the forest.
The Five Companions entered the forest and soon enough came across a couple of small groups of bandits. They were hastily defeated in combat and we took one bandit (who called himself “Joe”) captive and forced him to lead us towards the bandit camp as well as questioning him about the bandit group.
Joe told us that the bandits were lead by someone himself Valtar the Bloody, King of the Woods and Odderick was among the bandits now; apparently pressed into service. The bandit group numbered more than one hundred so it was more than we could handle so the stealthy numbers among us (Bifur, Falco and Dog) went ahead to try to sneak into the camp and rescue / re-capture Odderick while I (reluctantly) stayed behind with Joe as my heavy armor would have destroyed any chance of approaching unheard.
Several hours later, Falco and Dog returned without Bifur. I was greatly alarmed that Bifur was in trouble so the guys quickly explained what had happened. The three of them successfully snuck up to the camp and Falco wouldn’t shut up about the delicious bacon he was able to pilfer from the cooking pit. I wasn’t interested In the food and wanted to know what happened to Bifur. It turns out that Bifur got very close to the bandits and there was some great debate going on but Dog and Falco were not close enough to hear what was being said. Bifur forgot himself and spoke out which lead to his discovery and then capture.
Falco and Dog needed to flee for their lives but they saw Bifur being de-bearded and having his head shaved in disgrace. I vowed to kill Valtar when I heard such a horrid action. Bifur was not killed but captured and shamed.
We deduced that the bandits were mobilizing to attack the nearest town which was Stony Ford. A difficult decision needed to be made but we chose the greater good (instead of mounting a rescue mission for Bifur) and fled ahead and north of the bandit group towards the Old Ford to alert the Beornings, send for reinforcements and shore up defenses at the Old Ford so that we could harass and slow them down before they could return Stony Ford. Additionally, one of the Beornings went south to Stony Ford to alert them.
We prepared for battle at the Old Ford and figured we were a day ahead of the bandit group. After the first day, the bandits did not show. Nor on the second day. On the third day, disaster! They were not going the way towards the Old Ford but most have an alternate route. The Beornings arrived at this point and we all rushed two days south to the Stony Ford. We were too late.
Stony Ford was in the hands of the bandits when we arrived and the folkspeople had been put to the sword. The bandit army had constructed makeshift boats and crossed the river without the need of going to the Old Ford. The Five Companions and Beorn with his Beronings only had one option – revenge. The bandits held the town and had not yet left.
We charged into the burnt out Stony Ford with its people hanging off the walls with cold murder in our hearts. Glorious battle ensured and the Five Companions personally slew Valtar the Bloody, his Huntsman and Odderrick as well. That last one was a bit of an error as Beorn wanted him alive. After the battle, the bandits were destroyed and the Beornings’ sense of justice and vengeance satisfied. Beorn was mightily put out by our failure to capture Odderrick alive as well as the failure to protect Stony Ford. That failure will haunt the Five Companions till the end of our fellowship.
We returned to the remains of the bandit camp in the forest with Valtar’s bloody head and scared them into returning Bifur to us in return for their lives. We returned to the Inn of ended the season in the peace and tranquilty of the hearth. I personally hit the forge and hammered out my frustrations over our failure at Stony Ford on the anvil and created new armor for myself and Falco.